Researchers in Germany have discovered Stone Age cave art including carvings of nude women. Archaeologists working for the Bavarian State Office for Historical Preservation came upon the primitive engravings in a cave near the southern city of Bamberg, about 200km east of Frankfurt.
The engravings are believed to be around 12,000 years old, which would make them the first Stone Age artwork ever found in Germany. "They include schematic depictions of women's bodies and unidentifiable symbols, among other things," said spokeswoman Beate Zarges.
The ancient artists appear to have taken their inspiration for the erotic images from rock formations in the caves resembling breasts and penises, and then carved the images in the walls of the cave. Die Zeit quotes geologist and archaeologist Bernhard Haeck, a member of the discovery team, as saying that the five metre (16-foot) long chamber in the cave may have been used for fertility rituals. "It is a place full of magic," he said.
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